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How to Make biltong(South African)

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Category : Meat Recipes

If you want to learn how to make biltong then you have definitely come to the right place. Making biltong the South African way can be extremely gratifying and not only will you win friends over especially the pub loving ones, but you will also save money from buying it in stores.


Making biltong the standard South African way requires a little bit of Know how but it is quite easier than most people realize.

How to make biltong
Ingredients you will need for Biltong

  • Meat 2 kilos or more( your choice of meat but I recommend beef)
  • 250 mls of Vinegar (for basting)
  • Half a cup ground coriander
  • 2 tablespoons ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons of paprika
A few things to do before Preparing your biltong

When it comes to the meat you should chose according to your preference bearing in mind issues of fatty meats which are more likely to spoil during drying. Some people prefare game meat which is also good as most of this is less fatty.

How to make Your Biltong


  1. You will have to start by removing  the excess fat if any from your meat. This ensures a better drying process and a longer life of the final biltong product. You can still leave a little bit of fat for some extra flavor.   
    Biltong Meat
  2. Cut your meat into slices but not to thick as these will take longer to dry. Make them roughly 20 centimeters in length and 1 centimeter thick. Get rid of the sinews and gristle in the meat as these tend to become very tough to chew once dry.
    Biltong Basting
  3. Now make your basting by adding up all the ingredients in the list above in a wide flat dish or tray. One of the easiest ways to prepare your meat for drying is to season and baste simultaneously.
    Spices for biltong
  4. Add your seasoning spices and basting mix to the bottom of your tray and lay your meat flat in the dish. Add another layer of basting and spices on top of the meat. Some additional spices like peri peri and paprika can be added according to your taste. Now let the steak marinade in the fridge for two hours before you begin to dry it.
    Biltong making machine
The Drying stage

Biltong should be dried in an isolated dry space or a special chamber preferably a biltong maker which allows controlled heating and prevents visitation of unwanted guests like flies. Humidity is primarily the main cause of bad biltong so the right environment for drying is very important especially in colder environments
Tasty South African Biltong
Depending on the quantity of the meat plus method of drying that you use it can take you anywhere from 24 hours to ten days to finish the process. Some people like the biltong rock hard while others like it moist and these factors also determine how long to dry it for.
Once you get used to doing this you can then start trying out different meats basting and seasoning plus drying methods.

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